Sebastian Vettel to start U.S. GP from pitlane after taking sixth power unit of 2014
But World Champion looks likely to complete some laps in qualy
By James Galloway in Austin
Last Updated: 25/11/14 6:00pm
Sebastian Vettel will start Sunday’s United States GP from the pitlane after his expected switch to a sixth power unit of the season was confirmed.
Having reached his penalty-free limit of five engines for 2014 several races ago, the use of a sixth in Austin always appeared likely. In isolation a sixth internal combustion unit carries with it a ten-place grid penalty but matters were made worse for the German by the fact he had also reached the same limit in all the other five elements that make up the complete power unit.
"It's not great knowing you can't go out and smash it in qualifying," said a frustated Vettel.
A change to a sixth complete power unit carries with it the mandatory pitlane start and that sanction will befall Vettel on Saturday in Austin. He is the first driver in the field this year to unlock a sixth power unit.
The FIA confirmed the expected news following Practice One in Austin on Friday, with Red Bull having notified the governing body of the change on Monday.
However, team boss Christian Horner has confirmed that Vettel will take place in Qualifying One.
"It's only right that he does a lap, people have come here to see the drivers and it would be pretty silly to have him sitting on the pitwall," Horner told Sky F1.